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Tweak Tweak

Overview

Little Elephant and Mama Elephant are going for a walk. “Hold on to my tail,” says Mama. “If you want to ask me a question, tweak twice.” Tweak, tweak! “Mama, what is that?” Little Elephant is curious about the frog, the monkey, the songbird, the butterfly, and the crocodile—and especially about what a little elephant can do. Mama knows just how to answer, to help her cherished Little Elephant grow. 

Eve Bunting’s tender text and Sergio Ruzzier’s whimsical illustrations ...

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Overview

Little Elephant and Mama Elephant are going for a walk. “Hold on to my tail,” says Mama. “If you want to ask me a question, tweak twice.” Tweak, tweak! “Mama, what is that?” Little Elephant is curious about the frog, the monkey, the songbird, the butterfly, and the crocodile—and especially about what a little elephant can do. Mama knows just how to answer, to help her cherished Little Elephant grow. 

Eve Bunting’s tender text and Sergio Ruzzier’s whimsical illustrations make this walk with Mama an excursion any little elephant would enjoy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this tender story from Bunting (Will It Be a Baby Brother?), Mama Elephant advises Little Elephant to "tweak twice," by pulling on her tail, if she has any questions while they go for a walk. And at almost every turn of the page, Little Elephant does. Ruzzier's delicate lines and subdued colors match the tenor of the text, as Little Elephant asks her mother to identify various animals (a frog, a monkey, a bird, etc.), then wonders if she can also jump, climb, or sing. "Can I sing like that?" Little Elephant asks. "No, because you are not a bird.... But you can trumpet—like this. RO-OAR!" Ruzzier (Hey, Rabbit!) warmly conveys the small elephant's emotions and the reactions of other animals in fantasy spreads that show the elephant leaping between cliffs, swimming, and soaring through the sky. Despite the quiet plot and gentle tone, ample sound effects give the story pep, and the tail-pulling is a fun elephantine analogue to the way toddlers pull on a parent's pant leg or skirt hem with questions of their own. Ages 3–7. (May)
From the Publisher

"Young children will enjoy following Little Elephant’s fantasies....Along with the imaginative silliness, the nurturing parent-child tenderness is the core of the story."—Booklist
 
"The pairing of Bunting’s traditional text, powered by an elegant repeating structure, with Ruzzier’s offbeat art is unexpectedly fabulous."—Horn Book Magazine, starred review
Children's Literature - Rosa Roberts
A bond between a mama pachyderm and her child is exquisitely portrayed in this picture book. The mama tells her baby to tweak twice with its trunk if a question arises as they begin to take a walk. The fun begins with this story along their stroll. Baby elephant tweaks twice with questions about a frog, a monkey, a crocodile, a butterfly, and a songbird. The verbs introduced with each animal encountered while on the walk are jumping, climbing, swimming, flying, and singing. The mama elephant knows how to respond her baby's questions every time. The sharing of this knowledge helps the young pachyderm gain confidence. The colorful illustrations are appealing to children. This picture book would be a great shared reading with a child. There is nothing better than the bond between parent and child, and this book does a superb job in the portrayal of this relationship. Reviewer: Rosa Roberts
School Library Journal
PreS—While on a walk, Mama Elephant's baby holds onto her tail and "tweaks twice" to ask a question. Little Elephant's curiosity is piqued many times along the way. The parent-child discussion is sweet and encouraging: "'Mama? What is that?' 'That is a frog.' 'What is he doing?' 'He's jumping.' 'Can I jump?' 'No, because you are not a frog. You are a little elephant. But you can stomp your foot and make a big sound.'" Little Elephant is also intrigued by the monkey, crocodile, butterfly, and bird and wonders if she, too, can swing, swim, fly, or sing. Mama's patient answers point out Little Elephant's own inimitable abilities. Ruzzier's ink and watercolor illustrations charmingly capture the youngster's imaginings as she leaps over cliffs (with worried frogs looking on) and croons to an audience of bemused birds. The gentle text is perfect for sharing with toddlers.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Kirkus Reviews

Elephant mother and daughter enact an ages-old parent-child ritual. This book presents a pretty and friendly world, in which Mama Elephant is blue, Little Elephant is white and rosy, the sand is peach and every animal wears an expression of contented amusement. When Little Elephant goes for a walk with Mama, she holds on to Mama's tail and tweaks it twice to ask a question. Little sees a frog jumping and wants to know, "Can I jump?" Readers turn the page to a spread of Little flying through the air to the shock of the frogs below. "No," says Mama, "because you are not a frog. You are a little elephant. But you can stomp your foot and make a big sound." "Like that, Mama?" "Just like that, my little elephant," and the picture shows Little making quite a fine STOMP, STOMP! As they walk, Little imagines climbing an acacia tree like the monkeys, flying with a very anthropomorphic and beruffled butterfly and singing like a bird, only to learn what elephants do instead. Mama praises her for asking questions, so she can learn and grow to be "a big, strong, smart, beautiful elephant"—just like her Mama, suggests Little Elephant. In a nice touch, it is Little who leads Mama back home, past all the animals they saw on their walk. Captures exactly and sweetly a developmental ideal for both child and parent. (Picture book. 3-5)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618998517
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/23/2011
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: Library Edition
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 463,192
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: AD320L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

EVE BUNTING has written over two hundred books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz, The Wall, Fly Away Home, and Train to Somewhere. She lives in Southern California.

Sergio Ruzzier has illustrated a number of picture books, some of which he also wrote. Italian by birth, he lives in Brooklyn. Visit him at http://www.ruzzier.com/.

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